Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter has announced that, following discussions with Telstra over recent black outs in the electorate, priority response levels to Chittering, Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook would be upgraded.
Mr Porter said telecommunications coverage for both landline and mobile services in Pearce is an area that will be of particular focus for his first term.
“The recent bushfires highlighted problems for both landline and mobile customers in the electorate and these issues will take some time and effort to improve but I have not wanted to waste time and have started to make some early progress,” Mr Porter said.
“During the month of January I received a number of calls and emails from constituents complaining of blackouts from the Telstra network, including important landline services.
“Temperatures at this time of the year were obviously high and there were bushfires in the Parkerville, Stoneville and Bullsbrook areas. Unfortunately what seems to have occurred is that a number of key Telstra sites were affected by transmission interruptions under these conditions.
“I have taken the concerns of local residents direct to Telstra and have been assured that the battery reserves at Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook South, which are critical to maintaining services during adverse weather events, will now be replaced as soon as possible.
“Importantly, Telstra will upgrade the priority levels of sites in Chittering, Lower Chittering and Bullsbrook to reflect that they are in a high fire hazard area. Telstra have assured me that this will increase the priority of attendance to these sites in the event of any further mains failures.”
Mr Porter welcomed the quick response to the concerns of his constituents from Telstra but also urged residents in fire prone areas to be bushfire aware.
“This is an early and positive step in the right direction for local residents but there is still a long way to go to achieve long-term, broad improvements in telecommunications coverage,” he said.
“But what these events show is that it is particularly important for residents to remember that communication infrastructure can be subject to failure in times of natural disaster and I encourage people to prepare their homes and lives appropriately in case of an emergency.”